"Soul Food" is a feast of thoughtful poems to stir the mind and feed the spirit. Drawn from many traditions, ranging from Rumi, Kabir and Blake, to Rilke, Emily Dickinson and Paul Celan, this wide-ranging selection includes enormously varied work by celebrated contemporary poets such as Jane Hirshfield, Denise Levertov, Thomas Merton and Mary Oliver, as well as by many lesser-known writers from all periods and places. The anthology opens with a series of poems on human life and spiritual sustenance, starting with Rumi: 'This being human is a guest house./Each morning a new arrival...'. The poems which follow explore many ways of keeping body and soul together, offering food for thought on knowing yourself, living with nature, who or what is God...All are universal illuminations of the meaning of life, speaking to readers of all faiths as well as to searchers and non-believers. "Soul Food" shows how poetry can help feed our hunger for meaning in times of spiritual starvation.
Neil Astley is editor of Bloodaxe Books. He has published several other anthologies, including Staying Alive, Being Alive, Do Not Go Gentle and Passionfood, as well as two novels, The End of My Tether (Scribner), which was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award in 2002, and The Sheep Who Changed the World (Flambard, 2005). He lives in Northumberland. Pamela Robertson-Pearce is an artist and filmmaker. Her films include Imago: Meret Oppenheim (1996) and Gifted Beauty (2000). She has shown her work in solo exhibitions in New York and Provincetown, and in various group shows in the US and Europe. Born in Stockholm, she grew up in Sweden, Spain and England, then lived mostly in America - also working in Switzerland, Norway and Albania - before moving to Northumberland.